Room by room, Christmas has been collected and is in the process of being shoved back into the attic where it will sleep for another year. I saw a friend at the Walmart the other day while I was picking up that percolator. She was there to pick up another tote for her Christmas stuff. "How do I keep accumulating this stuff?" she asked. "Dunno," I said, "but Kathy, every year my attic gets smaller. How does that happen?" And she got wide eyed, because she thought that she was the only one with that problem. One of life's mysteries, I imagine.
So, anyhow, I'd taken down the tree, disassembled the tree (first year for an artificial ~ Dylan was stunned. He believes that this might well be the Christmas that lives in infamy.) I boxed up the Christmas village, and I packed away the nativity. I hauled the boxes up to the second floor landing as I filled them. When I was done, I pulled down the attic door, and unfolded the stairs, and began to haul boxes into the attic.
In the attic, very suddenly, I found myself thinking, "Put the tree and the tree ornaments in the front for Tim. Label the Nativity too. The other things will be too much for him." I was still for a moment in that cold, dark attic. Where did that come from? It was as if I'd picked up, briefly, a slightest bit of distant radio signal, one that was immediately lost again in the static. There was nothing else. I don't consider myself morbid or maudlin. It wasn't something that caused me to cry or be fearful. It was just a practical sort of thought that came to me very clearly. So I put the Christmas dishes to the back. The Christmas village went in next. The nativity and the tree and the ornaments for the tree went up front, clearly labeled, easily accessible.
It was sensible.